Reviews by Doc Savage

Jade Empire: Special Edition

Bioware At It's Best

This is quite simply a great game. Some folks will complain that it's not a REAL Mac app because it's Cider port, but I've played it through a couple of times now and don't recall having any significant problems.

The plot is wonderfully intricate as you begin as a student of Master Li at Two Rivers, advancing in skill and fighting styles, traveling through a multitude of locations. In typical Bioware fashion, the story line just keep going and going with side quests up the wazzoo.

The voice talent is also excellent, with notable appearances from Monty Python's John Cleese, and fans of Firefly and Castle may recognize Nathan Fillian as Gao the Lesser.

While the game was developed in 2005, the graphics are for the most part beautiful. Do yourself a favor and occasionally just stop and take a look around at your surroundings. Some of the locations are quite stunning.

The game itself is pretty basic compared to more modern games of this style. There are only three attributes to level up and no equipment to speak of. You do collect gems which you can equip to alter your stats and provide additional abilities, select fighting styles, a few of which include weapons, but that's about it.

Still, the plot is engaging and extensive, providing a good 20-30 hours of entertainment.

by Doc Savage, USA - Aug 26th 2013
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The Settlers 7 Paths to a Kingdom: Deluxe Gold Edition

Fun While It Lasted...

Update: It is time to revisit my review of Settlers 7 as UbiSoft has made the decision to discontinue it for Mac users. This WAS a fun game, but now it no longer starts. I am not terribly surprised as this is a fairly predictable end to a game that required constant internet access to Ubi servers. One would have thought that Ubi would at least provide a patch to disable the DRM, but one would be wrong. This is undoubtably the LAST UbiSoft game I will purchase and a fine example of needless DRM gone wrong and BAD customer service. Shame on you, UbiSoft.

Let's get this out of the way first, I am extremely annoyed by games that require an always-on internet connection. I'm dinging this game one star for that. There have been about 5 occasions where I was not able to play because the Ubi servers were down.

Helpful tip: When starting the game and the login window pops up, click the little gear in the upper right corner. This brings up the Saved Game Setting and asks if you want to enable saved games to be stored online. Click the "No" button as hard as you can without damaging your fingers or equipment. This will save a considerable amount of time starting and quitting the game.

As mentioned in the title, this game is quite fun, but I found myself using the same strategy for most levels, despite the variety of starting positions and available resources. Some levels can take a long time to complete and you need to keep track of your supply chains and army development.

One other thing, I had a bugger of a time locating the starting point for the DLC. Click the "Campaign" button, and then locate the three red push-pins on the map. Selecting each one will begin a different campaign.

by Doc Savage, USA - Aug 26th 2013
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